Experience with the Nuss technique for the treatment of Pectus Excavatum in Spanish Thoracic Surgery Departments

Cir Esp. 2016 Jan;94(1):38-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ciresp.2015.08.001. Epub 2015 Nov 3.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Although the Nuss technique revolutionized the surgical treatment of pectus excavatum, its use has not become widespread in our country. The aim of this study was to analyze the current use of this technique in a sample of Thoracic Surgery Departments in Spain.

Methods: Observational rectrospective multicentric study analyzing the main epidemiological aspects and clinical results of ten years experience using the Nuss technique.

Results: Between 2001 and 2010 a total of 149 patients were operated on (mean age 21.2 years), 74% male. Initial aesthetic results were excellent or good in 93.2%, mild in 4.1% and bad in 2.7%. After initial surgery there were complications in 45 patients (30.6%). The most frequent were wound seroma, bar displacement, stabilizer break, pneumothorax, haemothorax, wound infection, pneumonia, pericarditis and cardiac tamponade that required urgent bar removal. Postoperative pain appeared in all patients. In 3 cases (2%) it was so intense that it required bar removal. After a mean follow-up of 39.2 months, bar removal had been performed in 72 patients (49%), being difficult in 5 cases (7%). After a 1.6 year follow-up period good results persisted in 145 patients (98.7%).

Conclusion: Nuss technique in adults has had good results in Spanish Thoracic Surgery Departments, however its use has not been generalized. The risk of complications must be taken into account and its indication must be properly evaluated. The possibility of previous conservative treatment is being analyzed in several departments at present.

Keywords: Chest wall deformities; Cirugía videotoracoscópica; Deformidades de pared torácica; Nuss technique; Pectus excavatum; Thoracoscopic surgery; Técnica de Nuss.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Funnel Chest
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Pneumothorax / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Spain
  • Thoracic Surgery*
  • Young Adult